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Fund shortage delays plan to add coaches to Metro trains

Agency has written to the NCR Planning Board to seek funding of about Rs 2,000 crore.

delhi Updated: Aug 30, 2018 08:41 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Metro,Delhi,Coaches
The decision, taken by the DMRC board earlier this month, comes after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) refused to lend DMRC money to buy new coaches.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT archive)

The Delhi Metro’s plan to add more coaches to its trains to reduce overcrowding is going to be delayed further as the mass rapid transporter is unable to find funding for the project.

Already delayed by over two years, and with multiple revisions in the required number of coaches, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has now written to the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) to seek funding of about Rs 2,000 crore to get 156 train coaches.

The decision, taken by the DMRC board earlier this month, comes after the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) refused to lend DMRC money to buy new coaches. In the past, JICA has funded 60% to 48% of all the three phases of the Delhi Metro.

“The DMRC has written to the NCRPB for funding of 156 additional coaches, required for lines 1,2,3 and 4, including 36 coaches for the expansion of the Airport line to the exhibition-cum-convention centre (ECC) being built in Dwarka Sector 25,” said Anuj Dayal, executive director, corporate communication, DMRC.

The NCRPB is under the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs.

These coaches are to be added to: the Blue Line (Line 3 and 4), which connects Dwarka with Vaishali/Noida; the Red Line (Line 1), connecting Rithala with Dilshad Garden; and the Yellow Line (Line 2), linking HUDA City centre with Samaypur Badli.

“The coaches will augment the current capacity and will help take care of the extension of the Airport Line,” Dayal said.

A Delhi government official privy to the development said even if the NCRPB rolls out a funding model for DMRC, the file will still come back to the Delhi government as it is an equity partner for the loan. The centre and the Delhi government have 50% stake each in DMRC.

The board has also given the go-ahead to the corporation to float an open tender for these new procurements. “The estimated procurement price of these additional 156 coaches, as calculated based on the contracted prices duly escalated up to October 2018, works out to be Rs 1,958 crore, including taxes and duties. DMRC had taken up the funding requirements with JICA, but there is no positive response,” documents pertaining to the proposal stated.

Procurement of coaches has been repeatedly delayed because the file has been pending with the Union ministry of housing and urban affairs and the Delhi government for over two years. The DMRC had initially planned to get 586 coaches, which was reduced to 200 in June this year. This month, the count was further cut down to 156.

The DMRC said the additional requirements will be addressed later.

At present, the total number of coaches being used in the Delhi metro network is 1,654.

First Published: Aug 30, 2018 00:52 IST